Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a sore or painful jaw? Do you wake up with a headache in the morning? Does your face hurt when you get up? Any of these signals might mean you have bruxism. If you do have bruxism, you may need to get a mouthguard to protect your teeth.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a condition in which people clench or grind their teeth at night while they are asleep. It is estimated that over 25 million people clench or grind their teeth at night. Clenching or grinding your teeth doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? But it is. If you are clenching or grinding your teeth at night, you can cause damage to your teeth. Grinding your teeth makes them wear down, and you might expose nerves. Exposing nerves can be very painful. If you clench your teeth at night, you might break or crack your teeth as well. If you have a lot of dental work on your teeth, you could damage or break your dental work. This can get very expensive in a hurry for your dental work.
Clenching or grinding your teeth can create problems for your jaw as well. You can move your jaw out of alignment if you clench or grind your teeth. This can lead to temporomandibular joint problems. TMD is a painful inflammation of that jaw joint. If it gets bad enough, you may have problems opening and closing your mouth completely - or even chewing your food.
How Do Night guards Help?
The best way to protect your mouth from the effects of clenching and your teeth is to wear a nightguard. Nightguards can fit into your mouth to protect your teeth by distributing pressure from clenching or grinding your teeth throughout your jaw. You may already know what a mouthguard is because many athletes wear them to protect their mouths from injuries while they play sports. Night mouthguards work much the same way. They fit over your teeth to protect them from damage.
Night guards can be made out of soft or hard plastic. Both options work to protect your teeth at night. We will make an impression of your teeth, have the night guard made and then when it is ready, you can come back in to pick it up. It may take a little getting used to, but we think your teeth will thank you later. You should be able to sleep better, and hopefully, you’ll wake up with no headaches or jaw pain. Your teeth will thank you too because if you’re not clenching or grinding your teeth, you’re not damaging them.
Do you think you might need a mouthguard? Give us a call at (509) 505-6303 to schedule an exam with Dr. Bryan Hill and review your night guard options!